I just came across this really handy strategy that I'm going to start using with my dog. 

Missoula is absolutely a dog town. It's part of what I love about living here. But if you have a reactive dog like me, it can also be a challenge. My dog Buddy is a true buddy.  

Black dog on a white carpet
Ashley, Townsquare Media

Look at that handsome guy. And who doesn’t love a canine Star Wars fan?  

But unfortunately, he has some challenges when walking on a leash. We've worked with multiple trainers and learned that he’s considered a reactive dog. On walks, he pulls and barks when he sees other dogs. One time when we hiked with him before we understood how challenging a walk could be for him, someone called him “the mean dog on the trail.” It broke my heart. But this strategy could have helped us let other people know about the challenges that Buddy has. 

Let me also say that Buddy is a wonderful dog. He loves other dogs. It’s just that he needs to be in an enclosed space like a dog park. Then, he is a dog's best friend. But we may need to start using this strategy when we go on walks to let others know that buddy is practicing his manners.  

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I saw this story from thefw.com and they found this tip in Reader's Digest. Dog owners are using bandanas to let other people know about their dogs. A yellow bandana, or sometimes people will tie a yellow ribbon to a leash, means the dog might be anxious or have health issues.  Reader's Digest made a great graphic with more detail about the reasons why a dog might have a yellow ribbon.

A red bandana or ribbon is more often for a dog like my dog Buddy, one that can be reactive. In both cases, the ribbons or bandanas are a way to let others know to ask first before approaching the dog.

I think this is a really simple way to communicate. I hope more dog owners will start using this strategy in Missoula. Have you see dogs wearing red or yellow bandanas or ribbons around Missoula? Have you tried it with your dog? Tell us about it on our app. We’d like to know more about how well the strategy works.  

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